Understand and assess your competitive environment
Whether you're starting up or running an established business, or trying to make your company seem attractive to prospective buyers, it's important to know your competition.
Start by scanning the yellow pages and searching online to find out who your competitors are. Consider breaking your competition into categories based on what they offer, and identify your main competitors in each category. Ranking your competitors can also be helpful in terms of market share, from those you think do the most business, to those how do the least.
Market Share = Company's Sales/Total Market Sales
Identify Your Competitors' Strengths and Weaknesses
Beware of the temptation to suggest your company has no competition. Even if you're introducing something completely new to the market, your potential customers are currently satisfying their need in some other way.